Photo of the Month August 202

Tom and Cree celebrate the great images created by their community of photographers by selecting a Photograph of the Month. For August we selected a brown bear image created by Teri Manchen on our Brown Bear Safari . We hope you enjoy Teri’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to August 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Teri Manchen

Teri Photographing Brown Bears in Katmai National Park

The Story … 

At first the mother bear was really far away. She started coming closer to us and I was excited to get the shot. I wished her cubs were in the image too. The were down at the end of a cove and then they walked right past us.

I was happy with the bear and the fish. The fish was on the ground and it was hard to tell if it was still alive. I liked how it lined up with the bear perfectly.

August 2021 Photo of the Month

I was not afraid of the bear. I had done the same trip two years ago and had the same experience of getting close to grizzly bears. I was pretty calm. I just wanted to get the shot.

The last time I went to Katmai, I used aperture priority as my preferred shooting mode. This time I shot in manual mode to make sure my shutter speeds were high enough. This was also the first time I used auto ISO on Tom’s recommendation. It was exciting and it really works. Now I will use it a lot.

EXIF Data:

Nikon D5 with 200-500 Nikon zoom lens at 480mm

Manual mode with auto ISO F11, 1/2000 sec

Sow with two cubs strolling along Moraine Creek



Teri’s tips for photographing brown bears:

Don’t be scared. You will get closer to the bears than you imagine. The first time I photographed brown bears was at Silver Salmon Creek. I was a tad afraid. We were in a buggy and a blond bear started chasing the cart. I was in the very back of the buggy closest to the bear. That experience was a bit nerve wracking. Now I realize that I can be close to bears and not worry when I’m photographing.

Large brown bear looking for sockeyes in the river



About Katmai National Park

I loved every part of Katmai National Park. You can’t imagine that you can walk so closely alongside the bears. It’s unreal. I liked looking for bears and finding them around almost bend of a creek.

The day when we saw 22 bears in one 360 view was amazing. We also had wonderful weather. We never had to put on our raincoats.


On Teri’s Horizon

Botswana

Ouray, Colorado for fall color

Death Valley

Galapagos

New Zealand

Bucket list: Antarctica

Teri and the crew at Moraine Creek in Katmai National Park

There is one space left on a bear workshop for 2022 . Click here to read more . Our 2022 schedule is getting full, but we have openings for 2023. For our full schedule Click Here

We plan to post a new Ecuador Hummingbirds Workshop soon. Join the interest list

Thanks for reading our posts!

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month July 2021

Tom and Cree celebrate the great images being created by their community of photographers each month by selecting a Photograph of the Month. For July we selected an image of a Broad-billed Hummingbird created by Suzanne McCann on our Arizona Hummingbirds Workshop. We hope you enjoy Suzanne’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to July 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Suzanne McCann

The Story … 

The story behind this image is twofold. I went down to Madera Canyon not with the intent to simply take pretty pictures. I wanted to create folded notecards or photographs for the wall.

This drove the choice of background, white, because I can fit it into a lot of different wall spaces. During the pandemic I did my best to learn PhotoShop. The white background makes it easier to change out birds and flowers

Our July 2021 Photo of the Month

The hummingbirds themselves were also a driving force for my images. Hummingbirds are spirit symbols in the cultures where hummingbirds are indigenous. Cultures have different interpretations of hummingbirds but they all point to what is good in the world: joy, freedom, prosperity, good luck, a sign from the heavens….a lot of different things, but all uplifting.

When I created the cards it was with the intent to show joy.

The Photo of the Month was originally a bird in one picture and a flower in another. I wanted to combine them into one photograph for a little girl’s room – my grand niece. I chose a gentle background with light pink to set the tone.

I also wanted to create an image that would tell a story for her future. Hummingbirds can fly forward and backward. They can stop on a dime and fly in one place until a situation gets better. They have endurance and determination. Their focus is on the good stuff – the nectar. They skip the thorns and the leaves and go to what is nourishing. Finally, they can be fiercely protective and be a warrior if needed. I wanted to show a girl that while there is pink and pretty and froth, there are also attributes of hummingbirds which are good life lessons

EXIF Data: Nikon D850 with 500mm PF len

Manual mode with flash F16, 1/200 sec, ISO 100

Trio of broad-billed hummingbirds by Suzanne



Suzanne’s tips for creating hummingbird images:

They move so fast. Don’t be frustrated if you cannot get tack sharp birds in every photo.

I found it easier to focus using a remote trigger. My reflexes are not as quick as they used to be.

Also, go in with a plan. Figure out what you want to do with the photos ahead of time. Then you can decided what will yield the best results while shooting. For me that was choosing to use white backgrounds. Unlike photographing bears, with hummingbird images you can literally change the background color either before taking the image or afterwards with PhotoShop.

Whimsical broad-billed female with Mexican Bird of Paradise by Suzanne



About Madera Canyon

The New York Times describes Madera Canyon as a Sky Island. It is incredibly special and just a short distance from Tucson. It is home to a wide variety of birds including hummingbirds. Just go a mile up the road and you will find different species.

You can be photographing hummingbirds and a wild turkey will come up to you to see what you are doing. Or a coatimundi.

Santa Rita Lodge is geared towards attracting birds and animals. They provide spaces for you to enjoy them. And for photographers to set things up.

Broad-billed male by Suzanne

On Suzanne’s Horizon

Bosque del Apache

Yellowstone in Winter

Arizona Hummingbirds in Madera Canyon

Hummingbirds in Ecuador



Suzanne McCann at Madera Canyon – channeling gators!

There are a few spaces left on our Arizona Hummingbirds Workshop in 2023. Click here to read more

Our 2021 schedule is full, but we have openings for 2022 and 2023, For our full schedule Click Here

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photograph of the Month May 2021

Tom and Cree celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photograph of the Month. For May we selected an image of a black bear created by Bruce Moore on our Yellowstone in Spring Workshop. We hope you enjoy Bruce’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to May 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Bruce Moore

Bruce and his Imperial Satellite 127 camera

The Story … 

I have been taking photos since I was ten years old. My first camera was an Imperial Satellite 127. I sold flower seeds door to door to earn points. When I had enough points I picked the Satellite camera.

I love cameras. They are like art pieces to me. I have about 50 lenses and 30 cameras in my home. I learned more about my camera on this workshop than any other I have taken. Learning to adjust exposure compensation and ISO quickly on the top of my camera helped immensely.

I also learned to try and get as low as possible when taking wildlife images. It looks like I am eye level with the black bear (photo above) even though I am 20 ft above him. The bear helped a lot. He looked right at me. That really made the picture.



May 2021 Photograph of the Month

I heard Tom clicking away next to me – his camera sounded like a Gatling gun. So I took about 18 photos of the bear and I have three that I really like.

Each camera only has so many pictures in their life. I take every click seriously. Besides, I don’t have the patience to look through 5000 photos.

EXIF Data: Nikon D800 with a 150-600mm Sigma lens

Aperture Priority mode f11, 1/640 sec, ISO 4500 Exposure Compensation -.03



Bruce’s tips for shooting wildlife photography:

Make sure you have the right lens on for the subject matter. When we were photographing the wolf on the bison kill, I noticed that several people in the crowd had the wrong lens. One person was using a 100 mm lens and they would have to crop too much to be able to see the animal.

I had just bought a 150-600 Sigma lens for the trip. It was worth it for the wolf shot alone. When I returned home, I went right out and got the teleconverter to go with it.

On the Madison River in Yellowstone



About Yellowstone National Park

I signed up for Tom and Cree’s Yellowstone in Spring Workshop because I had never been to Yellowstone before. I learned it is very spread out.

It is an amazing place. You can be an amateur and take really phenomenal photographs in Yellowstone with just a little bit of knowledge…..and the help of really good guides who know where to put you.



Bison calving season is in May in YNP

On Bruce’s Horizon

Grand Teton National Park in September – in search of grizzly bears and moose



Bruce on the boardwalks with one of his cameras

Tom and Cree are headed to Madera Canyon in Arizona for new hummingbird workshops in July – 1 space left: click here.

For a full listing of upcoming workshops, including our Easter Island Workshop in January 2022: Click Here

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

November Photographer of the Month

Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For November we selected Dianne Biddison’s image of a reddish Egret from our Bird Photography Class. We hope you enjoy Dianne’s images as much as we do

Congratulations to November’s photographer – Dianne Biddison

Dianne in the lavender fields of Provence, France

The Data: ISO 1250 500mm 1/1250 f f13

The Gear: Canon EOS 6D with a 150-500mm lens

The Story … 

I signed up for Tom and Cree’s online Bird Photography class, and knowing there would be assignments, I planned to take a Friday off work to go to Fort DeSoto State Park. I had been there before with a local photography group. The park has a website with a list of birds that have been seen there by season and where to find them. I also used eBird hotspots to see what birds had been seen recently.

The Reddish Egret was very interesting. There was a photographer walking 30 ft ahead of me photographing the egret. I slowed down so I wouldn’t spook the bird. When the photographer left, the Reddish Egret almost seemed disappointed that his audience was gone. I moved in closer and started taking photos of the bird and his behaviour.

The November 2020 Photo of the Month

The sun came out from the clouds just at that moment to light him up the right way. I chose to go to the North beach because I anticipated that the sun would come from the east and look best.

I used my new tripod with a new Neewer gimbal head. It was the first time I had used either. This made it very easy to move the camera. I could manipulate my movement easier as the bird changed his position.

I found that shooting 3 ft off the ground was ideal. Because the beach was uneven, I did not want to get too low.

After photographing the egret, I turned a corner and found a sandbar with 100 American White Pelicans. While other photographers were waiting for them to fly and hopefully come in closer, I started looking around. I found a pair of American Oystercatchers and photographed them.

On my way back to the car the Whimbrel appeared. The birds at the park are used to people and don’t get scared. I lowered the tripod more and it started walking towards me.

I was able to get both a profile and a straight on shot. I like them both. The straight on shot helped me identify the bird because I could see the darker eye band.


Dianne’s Whimbrel on the beach at Fort De Soto State Park


About Photographing Birds:

It’s fun! Being down here in Florida, I can usually find a bird. I like watching what they are going to do and how they interact with each other.

Bird photography is a challenge, especially getting them in flight. But it is a fun challenge!


American Oystercatcher

Tip from the Photographer

Keep looking around you when photographing birds. You never know what is watching you.

When everyone else was watching the pelicans, the oystercatchers were creeping up behind them.

Get as many shots as possible from different angles. Even if the image is blurry, it may help you identify the bird.

Dianne roaming the beaches of Tasmania with her Canon in hand

On Dianne’s Horizon

The Winter Yellowstone Workshop in January

Going back to Fort De Soto. This time I plan to go in the evening. I want to photograph Roseate Spoonbills in warm evening light.

I have plans to put in a backyard bird habitat, after I cut back some Elephant Ear Philodendrons from my pond and waterfall. This will clear the way for birds to take a bath. We have Red-Shouldered Hawks, Cardinals, blue jays and finches regularly in this area. It will be exciting to see what other birds are around here, too.


Our next online Bird Photography class starts this Monday. Learn more about our upcoming classes, including Power Workflow, Advanced Landscape and PhotoShop 1 Click Here

You are also invited to join us for an online Happy Hour on Friday Dec 4 at 7 pm SMT to see a virtual gallery of images from our latest classes. Leave a comment below to receive an invite.

Photographer of the Month September 2020



Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For September we selected Linda Sullivan’s image from our Elk Rut Workshop
. We hope you enjoy Linda’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to September’s photographer – Linda Sullivan

Elk Rut Workshop September 2020

The Story … 

We were very fortunate. It was the end of the morning session and we were leaving Moraine Park. We came across these two young bulls in the Ponderosa Pines by the road. We jumped out and took advantage of the opportunity to get close to the pair practicing for when they become more serious as adults.

They were out there sparring for an hour. The challenge was trying to set the shot up. The best shot was when they moved into a small clearing. I wanted to get both of their eyes open while they were locked in battle.

The September 2020 Photo of the Month

I was glad that I learned to shoot in manual with auto ISO on the workshop. It made it really easy to shoot wildlife. Using auto ISO allowed me to focus on just the shutter speed. This made me more confident in working in manual mode.

We photographed handheld to be able to move quickly to get action shots with the best composition and the least amount of distractions. I was very pleasantly surprised to see two young bulls fighting for such a long time right in front of us. It was quite an opportunity!


The Data: .

ISO 2800 220mm 1/1000 f 5.6 in manual mode with auto ISO

The Gear: Nikon D850 with a 80-400mm lens

A large bull elk bugles in Moraine Park – by Linda Sullivan

About Photographing the Elk Rut in Rocky Mountain National Park:

It was a magical experience for me. I spent time not only photographing the elk and their behavior. I also just listened to the bugling sounds and the dance of the rut.

All the animal behaviour we experienced during the weekend was so special. It makes me want to go back year after year.

By Linda Sulivan

Tip from the Photographer … 

I really appreciated learning about elk behaviour from all the information that was sent before the workshop. You want to be able to anticipate what they are going to do.

We learned how the elk would move to round up the females in their harem. We knew when the bull would bugle. It made it easier to anticipate when to be ready to photograph. We waited for the right moment, instead of just shooting away at everything.

Linda at the Route 66 Diner Photo Shoot in 2019

On Linda’s Horizon

Galapagos & Costa Rica

Want to join us for the last Colorado Getaway? We have a few open spots and will be photographing the end of the elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park and hoping for clear enough skies to shoot the galaxy at night. Click Here for more info

Photo of the Month – August 2020



Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For August we selected Lynn Satterfield’s image from our online Texture Overlay class
. We hope you enjoy Lynn’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to August’s photographer – Lynn Satterfield

Lynn at the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina

The Story … 

The wagon was at the estancia where we stayed in Patagonia. It was at sunset and the light came in really nice on the wagon. I took the photo handheld. It was a pretty good photo before I did anything with texture layers.

I asked myself can I make it look rustic, like it was old and wearing down. This concept just seemed to go with the wagon.

The August 2020 Photo of the Month

To create the texture image for the overlay, I just went into the kitchen and pulled all the pans out to see what I had. I used the Nikon Z6 to photograph it because it’s so light. I turned the pan right side up first. Then I turned it over and the back side was even better.

I cropped the texture layer a bit because the edge didn’t add anything to it. I put a bit of gold color in it to warm the image up. I added texture and clarity as well. That was about it, really.

Lynn’s texture layer created by photographing the back of a baking pan with her Nikon Z6

The Data: .

ISO 400 35mm 1/125 f 16

The Gear: Nikon D500 for background, Nikon Z6 for texture


About Texture Overlays:

Doing texture layers helped me understand layers and blending modes in PhotoShop. With the layer masks, it just seemed to click that you could use them to bring out parts of the texture and hide the texture in other parts.

Texture layers give you a feeling of creating and being an artist. Taking a photo anyone can do. This technique makes the image your own vision.

A goose texture overlay image from Lynn Satterfield
The golden pond texture Lynn chose for her goose image

Tip from the Photographer … 

Don’t be intimidated by layers. Experiment. Put different textures on and see what they look like. the wagon texture was about 46% opacity. I used the lighten blend mode after going through all of them.

Lynn experimenting with a second texture on the Patagonian wagon

On Lynn’s Horizon

Bears and Glaciers Workshop and Australia/Tasmania Workshop in 2021

She also wants to work more with speedlights and editing in PhotoShop.


Lynn in action in the bird blinds at Laguna Seca Ranch in South Texas

The Patagonian wagon image was taken on a workshop with American Nature Photography Workshops Click here to learn more

There is another Texture Overlay class starting at the end of October. To see a schedule of online classes with Tom Bol Photo Workshops Click Here